We’ll wake up Saturday morning to the official arrival of fall, following the Autumnal Equinox at 2:50 a.m. But if you’ve been looking around, signs of the new season have been teasing us for weeks.
Monday, September 18, 2023
Gardening season is coming to a close. We’ve already had our first frost advisory, though I don’t think it materialized in most places. I've been taking one last look at some of the beautiful gardens I see from the roadside, tucking the images away as memories for a bleaker season yet to come.
Thursday, September 14, 2023
Many features make Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore special. One of them is the abundant dune landforms. On a recent morning I visited the Lakeshore capturing dune scenes from Platte River to Bohemian Road.
My first stop was Platte River Point where you can see Empire Bluffs and Sleeping Bear Point in the distance.
Low dunes often don’t receive the oohs and aahs that the high ones get but I find their beauty just as spectacular. These dunes are along the Platte River Point Park.
Next I moved to Empire Beach, one of my favorite Lake Michigan beaches for sunsets due to its accessibility. To the north is Sleeping Bear Dune, which has had two sandslides this century sending large land masses plunging into Lake Michigan.
The spectacular Empire Bluffs are seen to the south from Empire Beach. Esch Road is another place to view these bluffs, but the walking there is more difficult.
Glen Haven beach was my next stop. Its sandy beach with views of the massive Manitou Islands tease one into thinking the islands are closer than they are.
The Dune Climb isn’t far from Glen Haven and I captured this early morning scene before too many climbers were present.
From the Glen Arbor beach, Pyramid Point Bluff is seen to the north. It too sustained a major sandslide in 1998, sending thousands of tons of sand into the Lake.
My final stop of the day was another of my favorite Lakeshore spots, Bohemian Road Beach and Good Harbor Bay. Its beach is expansive and you get another view of Pyramid Point to the left.
To the north you can see the Whaleback and Carp River Point. Beautiful low dunes predominate this popular beach, which is also quite accessible and a great spot for sunset watching.
Monday, September 11, 2023
Scenic highways are abundant in Michigan. M-119’s Tunnel of Trees. US-2’s Top of the Lake Scenic Byway. US-23’s Sunrise Coast. But none are as iconic as M-22’s Circle Tour of the Leelanau Peninsula. A whole culture has sprung up around the M-22 meme. The roads signs became so popular they were stolen and their replacements are now without the M to make them less inviting. Restaurants and lodging pirated the name and mailboxes sprung up with the logo. A new business featuring M-22 clothing, mugs, and other up north paraphernalia was born. Perhaps the most popular item seen bearing the M-22 logo is the omnipresent bumper sticker. Yup, that’s the one on my car.
Thursday, September 7, 2023
Weeks ago, a poet friend sent me a poem by Ukrainian writer Victoria Amelia, who died July 1st from injuries sustained in a Russian missile strike. Her poem was inspired by her work interviewing women who lived through the Russian occupation. The poem stuck with me and I’ve taken a few crow pictures to illustrate.
Poem About a Crow
In a barren springtime field
Stands a woman dressed in black
Crying her sisters’ names
Like a bird in the empty sky
She’ll cry them all out of herself
The one that flew away too soon
The one that had begged to die
The one that couldn’t stop death
The one that has not stopped waiting
The one that has not stopped believing
The one that still grieves in silence
She’ll cry them all into the ground
As though sowing the field with pain
And from pain and the names of women
Her new sisters will grow from the earth
And again will sing joyfully of life
But what about her, the crow?
She will stay in this field forever
Because only this cry of hers
Holds all those swallows in the air
Do you hear how she calls
Each one by her name?
Monday, September 4, 2023
I see Sandhill Cranes often when I’m shooting in farm country this time of year. I saw six of them together in one spot but they were too far away to get good pictures. I moved on to the field where I often see my favorite pair. The farmer had replaced the corn crop with soybeans this year. I found my two regulars feasting away, one pecked and ate while the other stood guard. It was great to see them up close.